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Undergraduate Guide to Japanese Studies: Search

Helps students new to conducting research, emphasizing how to find scholarly books and articles on Japan.

Search for Books and Scholarly Articles about Japan:

OneSearch is the Libraries' Search Engine. It can help you discover books, ebooks, and schoalrly articles that Google cannot provide access to. You can improve your search results with specific combinations and variations of keywords.

First, some general rules:

  • You will probably have some bad searches, dead ends, etc.
  • Use keywords relevant to your topic, don't search with sentences
  • Filter your results, look at the your results with only books, ebooks, journal articles, etc.
  • Vary your keywords, try different combinations, and do multiple searches
  • Keep track of interesting materials you find as you go.

🔠 Example Search: Anime -- Basic Keyword Search (Part 1 of 4)

How to Search Well -- with "Anime" as an Example Topic

You can start with a simple search like "Anime," here are the first 5 results:

⏬ Example Search: Keep Scrolling down for Interesting Titles (part 2 of 4)

Intriguing Materials Can Be Discovered Scrolling Down Through the Results

Interesting and more specific topics, and combinations of academic disciplines start to appear if you scroll deeper. Here are some interesting books you might miss if you don't load more of the results:

📂 Example Search: Anime -- Change Your Filters (part 3 of 4)

Change the "Source Type" Filter to Discover New Materials

The examples above focus mainly on Books / Ebooks. Try swapping the Source Type filter to "Journal Articles." Scholarly articles from journals offer interesting and nuanced perspectives on narrowly focused topics.

"Anime" filtered by Journal Articles▼

🔎 Example Search: Anime, part 4 of 4 -- Focus Your Topic

Discover more Specialized Resources as You Build Foundational Knowledge on Your Topic

★ Notice that once you start to do more specific searches, you will start seeing more journal articles.

"Anime" is too broad a topic for doing a research paper. Think about what you would like to focus on, what are you passionate about in addition to anime?

  • Are you an environmental studies major? Research how the environment in portrayed.
  • History majors can investigate how major events depicted.
  • Political science major, how is anime used to satirize and criticize the political establishment (of Japan)?

A simple search like "anime gender" will provide new and interesting results. Even without reading the materials, the search results will provide you with lots of concepts, ideas, and vocabulary to better explore your topic. Below are some examples:

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How do I keep track of the resources I find?

You can use Zotero. It's free software that works with your browser to make tracking your sources and citing them later much easier. Check out the Libraries guide on using Zotero.